Harrington pits prospects against each other// Blingo, Rousing Sermon ready for San Felipe// Fly Lexis Fly to skip Derby// Updated Future Odds

Has the cost of transporting horses increased? Did Creative Cause perhaps not ship well to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in November? Mike Harrington finally made a decision on what to do with his top two Kentucky Derby prospects: Creative Cause and Empire Way will run against each other Saturday in the San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita. Harrington’s excuse of timing is a bit odd, as it will only be three weeks since Creative Cause’s last race.  The Rebel (G2) the following week seemed like an ideal choice in terms of both timing and keeping the horses separated.  As Harrington readily admits, if Creative Cause defeats Empire Way Saturday he very well could deny the latter of much needed graded stakes earnings required to make the Kentucky Derby// Creative Cause had the bullet work going 4-furlongs Tuesday at Hollywood Park.  Harrington said it was quicker than he preferred// Blingo, a gelding and son of Artie Schiller, has matured since his last effort in the CashCall Futurity (G1) in December according to John Shirreffs. The Kentucky Derby winning trainer says the San Felipe is a major test to see how Blingo takes to dirt// Jerry Hollendorfer still believes in Rousing Sermon and hopes the colt doesn’t start too far behind in the San Felipe// Delta Jackpot (G3) winner Sabercat is confirmed for the Rebel Stakes.  He was originally pointed to the San Felipe but trainer Steve Asmussen said the son of Bluegrass Cat needed another week of training// Several posts ago I mentioned the absence of any official workouts from Peruvian import Fly Lexis Fly. Tuesday it was revealed he will most likely miss the Derby and target the Belmont Stakes instead.  According to trainer Arturo Morales the quarantine process has taken too long// Updated Kentucky Derby future odds were released by Wynn Las Vegas. Gotham (G3) winner Hansen is down to 12-1, still better than Churchill Downs’ Future Wager Pool #2 that ended Sunday.  My Adonis, 2nd in the Gotham (G3) dropped to 40-1// Speaking of Hansen, recaps and opinion keep popping up seemingly by the minute.  An interesting backhanded compliment by Ed DeRosa on the TwinSpires blog about Hansen being ideal for the second tier Summer and Fall Derbys.  I doubt Hansen’s connections have the Oklahoma Derby on their radar at this point…     

Vini, vidi, vici (Hansen Blog via Courier Journal)
Guess who’s back? (Horseracing Insider)
Point/Counterpoint: Empire Way vs. Mark Valeski (Zipse at the Track/Derby Wars Blog)

Optimizer- OP- 4F- 47:40 B- 2/17
Hierro- SA- 5F- 1.00:00- H- 5/14
Creative Cause- HOL- 4F- 46:40- H- 1/34

Kentucky Derby Future Odds

AP Top 10 (AP)
Paulick Index 3/6 (Paulick Report)

Weekly Top Speed Figures*
3yo winning Beyers last week: Hansen-95; Flashy Dresser-89; Mile High Magic-94; State of Play-83; Steve's Adventures-87.

Top 3yo winning BRIS figs last week: Hansen-108; Flashy Dresser-102; Mile High Magic-100; State of Play-96; Steve's Adventures-96

*Source: DerbyContenders via Twitter

Notes and bits from web and Twitter:
“23.20, 46.40 out 59.60 for Creative Cause. As good as he has looked in the morning this year. Hopefully he cools out the right way ...”- ClockerDH via Twitter